Tombstone discovered at Laurel Heights
A plumbing crew working on Iris Avenue in the Laurel Heights was astonished to find a
large marble tombstone buried under a house they were working on.
A worker named Joe was digging when he struck the tombstone; a first for the 18-year
employee of Lowe’s Plumbing. The site was formerly the Laurel Hill Cemetery.
In the early ’30s, the bodies at the site were dug up and transported to Colma for reburial
so the land could be used for a growing city. No bodies were discovered at the Iris
There are several names on the tombstone, including Charles Cooper, an immigrant from
Germany who died at the turn of the 20th century. According to findagrave.com, Charles
Cooper was born on Dec. 29, 1832, and died in San Francisco on Aug. 26, 1902. He was
married to Elizabeth Cooper and was the father of Mrs. Henry Herman.
Cooper’s first wife, Catherine Ryan, from Cork, Ireland, died at 27 years of age just
shortly after giving birth to the couple’s son, William Henry. The infant passed away at
just 13 days old.
The tombstone was reburied at the site.
Categories: Richmond Review